An enormous line of litter accumulated on a remote shore in Singapore, Jan 10.
The only glimmer of hope we have of stopping this endless tide of rubbish is to raise public awareness. So hopefully people stop littering.
Accumulations of plastic on Tanah Merah, seen in Oct 09
ICCS is NOT just about picking up litter. It is about educating people and collecting data about the litter on our shores. After spending an hour logging data on litter, I have stopped using straws. It seems pointless to use something for a few minutes then throw it away. Anyone above the age of 2 doesn't need to suck a drink!
Litter in the mangroves of Pasir Ris, Apr 09
ICCS involves thousands of people. It is the single most important event in the year to raise awareness about marine litter. All the shores are targeted. From mangroves to recreational beaches. Remote shore to accessible shores.
Litter on Pasir Ris shores, Jan 10
Trash on our shores costs us money. More than $1million to be precise. And that's just on the recreational shores.
Last year, a report for the 21 APEC economies reveals a conservative estimate of damage caused by marine litter to be US$1.265 billion. This is just the cost to fishing and boat industries. This does NOT include costs to wildlife, loss of tourism and lost capital development opportunities, like building a hotel or resort. It also does NOT include the clean-up bill.
If you have strong organisational skills, some time to set aside to work with the rest of the well trained coordinating team, you CAN make a huge difference in dealing with the trashy issue. Sign up to be on the coordinating team for ICCS 2010.
If you only have one day to set aside, you can help to collect data on the Coastal Clean up day itself, scheduled in September 2010. Sign up with the ICCS mailing list or subscribe to the ICCS blog or twitter for updates.